Are you the kind of person who can’t sleep the night before a big trip out of sheer excitement? Or are you cool as a cucumber when you set off on big journeys? Well, at about 2 am this morning, wide awake in bed and unable to sleep, I discovered that I fall into the former category… at least when it comes to taking students on their first ever plane ride!
Two of our students, Nutan and Cynara, were awarded scholarships to attend TSALS, the Sri Ram Ananta Aspen Leadership School, a two-week residential leadership course. TSALS is far away–in Rishikesh, almost a thousand miles from home.
We set off together at 4 am, taking autorickshaws to the airport. Cynara and Nutan were accompanied to the airport by their parents and siblings, excited to see them off on this big adventure. It will be the first time that the girls have stayed away from their families.
Like so many of the families that we work with, Nutan and Cynara’s parents are staunch supporters of their daughters’ education, and are thrilled that they have been accepted to the TSALS programme.
I accompanied Nutan and Cynara to Delhi where we attended the TSALS opening ceremony, and met the other 56 students, who are from all over India. After the ceremony and some refreshments, it was time for them to leave. As their buses whisked them off to Rishikesh and we waved goodbye, I couldn’t help thinking that when I met Nutan and Cynara for the first time, they had reservations about making the 1 kilometer journey to and from ALF every day… and after less than two years they are now bold enough to spread their wings and embrace experiences 1600 kilometers away from home!
Cynara and Nutan have been sent off armed with cameras and are tasked with posting on this blog when they get back, so expect to soon be fully updated with tales of river-rafting, socratic dialogue, yoga, silent contemplation, percussion workouts and abseiling. Thanks for your support of our girls, and all the journeys they make, whether big, small, geographical or metaphorical!